Aluminum Stamping Capabilities
Prototype & Short-Run Services is an industry leader in precision stamping for deep drawn aluminum parts. With over 20 years of experience and precision aluminum stamping capabilities, we can produce components that match your unique specifications. We specialize in complete-to-print parts and can produce a single aluminum prototype or tens of thousands of parts, all in fast turnaround times to meet your schedule.
As a full-service metal stamping job shop, we have the aluminum stamping capabilities to take your project from the concept stages through full production quickly and cost-effectively. Design and engineering assistance are available, as needed, to turn your designs into tangible products as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. We also provide a range of metal finishing services, such as heat treating and deburring—we do more of the work so you don’t have to.
Why Choose Aluminum for Your Deep Drawn Parts?
- Aluminum’s strength-to-weight ratio is perhaps its most desirable attribute, as it allows for very strong, yet lightweight, parts
- Natural corrosion resistance makes aluminum a very low maintenance material
- It offers outstanding durability in almost any application
- Aluminum exhibits high electrical and thermal conductivity
- The material is non-sparking, non-magnetic, and non-combustible
Aluminum Stampings vs. Steel Parts
Thanks to the material’s above-mentioned strength-to-weight ratio, aluminum stampings are commonly used to replace steel ones. Steel parts can be replaced with aluminum, significantly reducing the overall weight of the assembly or product (aluminum is roughly only a third as dense as carbon steel) with little to no loss of strength or durability. Other advantages of aluminum stamped parts over steel include:
- Aluminum is more elastic and malleable than steel, making it easier to form into deeper and more intricate parts; aluminum, therefore, is ideal for the deep drawing process
- With its natural corrosion resistance, aluminum stampings won’t rust like steel stampings will; no paint, coatings, or treatments are needed to protect aluminum against corrosion
The Deep Drawn Aluminum Stamping Process
Our aluminum stamping capabilities incorporate mechanical presses and progressive dies that form sheet metal into finished parts one step at a time. The aluminum sheet is “blanked”—i.e., cut into round or shaped flats—and then fed into the stamping machine. A hydraulic punch presses the material into a series of specially manufactured dies in sequence, gradually forming the material into the final part shape. Our precision stamping process results in seamless, one-piece metal parts.
After drawing, any holes your design may require are punched into the parts. Excess material is also trimmed away after drawing.
Because it is a “cold working” process, deep drawing has the beneficial side effect of work hardening the material. As the aluminum blanks are formed and stretched into their final shape, the grain structure of the metal is altered. This gives an aluminum stamping greater physical strength than the unworked material from which it originated.
Thanks to our precision stamping expertise, we can manufacture both simple and complex deep drawn aluminum parts with outstanding accuracy and repeatability. In general, more intricate parts require more steps/dies in the drawing process; however, Prototype & Short-Run Services can still produce them with the same speed and precision as basic part shapes.
We can produce your aluminum prototype or production parts from a number of different aluminum grades. These include, but are not limited to:
- 1100 aluminum
- 2024 aluminum
- 3003 aluminum
- 5052 aluminum
- 6061 aluminum
- 6063 aluminum
- 7075 aluminum
Characteristics of Aluminum
Aluminum is a silvery-white metal that makes up about 8% of the Earth’s solid surface, by weight. It offers strength comparable to carbon steel but at roughly one-third the density, giving it a favorable strength-to-weight ratio. Thanks to its naturally occurring, microscopically-thin, invisible oxide coating (aluminum oxide), it exhibits excellent corrosion resistance. Aluminum is very ductile and malleable, making it particularly well-suited to precision stamping processes.
Aluminum is non-magnetic, exceptionally durable, and has a relatively low melting point. It will not rust, has low spring back characteristics, and maintains superb dimensional stability.
The material does not require painting, plating, or coatings, but can be anodized to create a decorative finish and to improve its already excellent corrosion resistance.